Swimathon Celebrates 30 Years
Swimathon, the world’s biggest fundraising swim delivered by Limelight Sports, is 30 years old!
The 2017 event takes place over 3 days from 7th – 9th April. As registration opens for the 2017 event, the total fundraising amount over the previous 29 years currently stands at a staggering £46 million which has been distributed among 36 different charities.
Swimathon began in 1986, the 1986 pilot was a London only initiative, organised by the Guild of London Bath Managers to encourage pools to get more people swimming. The launch of the annual event was in 1988, Swimathon has since seen almost 700,000 participants at over 1000 different pools across the UK, getting involved, swimming for the challenge and raising money for charity.
Swimathon looks to attract swimmers of all levels from experienced Swimathon participants to complete novices in the pools, and this is reflected in the different challenges available to those taking part.
Experienced Swimathon participants will notice a brand new look for this year. The new Swimathon identity was designed to reflect the event’s yearly appeal to young generations, as well as carrying the event’s long heritage in the world of swimming.
More than 600 venues across the length and breadth of the UK will be hosting sessions, ensuring that as many people as possible have close access to a facility. There are individual distance challenges from 1.5k to 5k or swimmers can share the workload by being part of teams taking on the team challenges. Those wanting to take part who can’t get to a local pool or meet the event dates can enter SimplySwim, which is a Swimathon challenge that allows individuals to complete a distance swim wherever and whenever it suits, rather than at an organised Swimathon session.
At the 2017 event, four Swimathon “veterans”, are expected to complete a unique feat. Having taken part in every one of the previous 29 Swimathons, these incredible individuals are each due to collect their 30th Swimathon medal in April!
Swimathon President and Olympic gold-medallist Duncan Goodhew said, “I have been involved with Swimathon since the very beginning and over the last 30 years it has been a real joy to see it develop and mature into the great event it is today. Nowadays there are thousands of well organised sports participation events, mostly running and cycling, which raise money for charity but that wasn’t the case in 1988 when we launched the annual event. Swimathon really was ahead of its time giving people a chance to get active and do some good at the same time. I am so proud of both Swimathon’s longevity and its legacy.”
The official charity of Swimathon 2017 is Marie Curie. The charity provides care and support for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. It has been doing this work for over 65 years and last year alone cared for over 40,000 people across the UK.